Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Society & Culture
  3. Ethnic Cultures

Unforgettable Easter concert: 75 years ago

See also

For Christian believers Holy Week, the last week of Jesus Christ’s life on earth, culminates with Easter Sunday, which commemorates his resurrection from the dead. An event of profound significance also occurred on Easter Sunday, 1939, when Marian Anderson, world renowned contralto, gave an open-air performance from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. More than 75,000 people showed up to listen to the free concert.

More Photos

Originally Anderson was scheduled to perform at Constitution Hall, which was owned by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), but because she was African America, the DAR refused to allow her to use the facility.

Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, resigned from the DAR in protest, and thousands of other members followed suit. With the support of Mrs. Roosevelt and the President, Harold L. Ickes, Secretary of the Interior organized the concert, which has been described as, “. . . one of the early, defining moments in the history of protest against racial inequality in America.”

The accompanying slide show depicts scenes from the life of one of the most admired respected women of the 20th Century, the renowned vocal artist with “a voice that occurs once in a hundred years.”

Take a look at the following article connected to Marian Anderson: Ten African American firsts occurring in January.

Marian Anderson is among those honored with a Black heritage stamp. Click here to view slides in the series.

Advertisement

Life

  • Johnny Manziel
    Should Johnny Manziel apologize for his hard partying over the offseason?
    Today's Buzz
  • Crop circles
    Similar crop circles appeared in Germany and England within days of each other
    Camera
    19 Photos
  • Advanced placement
    The AP program is gaining traction as a key component in college admissions
    Camera
    5 Photos
  • Beach hats
    Beat the heat with the best summer beach hats for women
    Camera
    Beach Hats
  • Expectations for ministry
    Pastor preaches to newly ordained ministers about expectations for ministry
    Camera
    6 Photos
  • Medical symptoms
    See which symptoms should cause you to seek a doctor’s attention right away
    Camera
    6 Photos